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Doctors Promote Health Benefits of Outdoor Activity

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

A multi-agency effort is underway, spearheaded by Derrick Crandall, president of the
American Recreation Coalition (ARC); orthopedic surgeon and former Recreation Vehicle
Industry Association (RVIA) media spokesman Dr. Michael Suk; and family physician Dr.
Daphne Miller, to educate healthcare providers about the value of physical activity in the
outdoors. “It is common for medical professionals to counsel patients to increase
activity,” said Dr. Suk in a news release. “Yet these experts lack the tools to help
patients find nearby, safe open spaces and actually get outdoors.” Recent research shows
marked benefits to outdoor activity, including: * People with nearby access to a park or
open space were 50% more likely to maintain a routine of walking. * Outdoor
can improve mental health, particularly among young people. * 40% of
cancers and other diseases of a sedentary, indoor lifestyle can be eliminated by people
becoming more active outdoors. * 74% of adults are not meeting their daily needs for
exercise. RVIA research indicates that RVing helps promote physical activity. Nearly
three-fourths of RVers (74%) say they are more physically active on RV vacations than other
types of vacations, and 81% say their children are also more physically active when
traveling by RV. Popular outdoor activities with RVers include hiking and walking; biking;
and canoeing and kayaking. The group published a report titled “Park Prescriptions:
Profiles and Resources for Health from the Great Outdoors” that provides 13 case studies
demonstrating effective programs for encouraging people to increase their outdoor
. The initiative brings together representatives from the National Park
Service, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, the Environmental
Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, as well as an array of outdoors
and medical groups who are working to prepare a report for President Obama, which is due
November 15.

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